Pear and Proprio strengthen immersive offerings for patients and medical professionals 1

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Pear Therapeutics and Proprio have strengthened their hands in delivering immersive services to patients and medical professionals.

Quick read

➨ Pear has acquired two clinical-stage VR apps for the treatment of acute and chronic pain from Firsthand Technology

➨ COOL! and GLOW! employ VR pain relief through a combination of distraction, active physical engagement, mindfulness and biofeedback with wearable sensors

➨ Proprio has appointed Dr Takeo Kanade to its advisory board to further develop its surgical navigation system

The story

Boston- and San Francisco-based Pear, which specialises in digital prescription therapies, has acquired two clinical-stage apps for the treatment of acute and chronic pain from Firsthand Technology, a VR developer for healthcare.

COOL! and GLOW! employ VR pain relief through a combination of distraction, active physical engagement, mindfulness and biofeedback with wearable sensors.

Firsthand said in a statement that the company is “excited by the potential for Pear to bring the benefits of Firsthand’s VR experiences to much wider use”.

Howard Rose, chief executive officer of Firsthand, said: “Innovation is in our DNA. VR is a game-changer that can make wellness more targeted and personalised for patients, and gives doctors a powerful new tool to transform the practice of physical and mental health. We remain dedicated to creating new digital solutions that help us all be healthier, smarter and happier.”

Seattle-based Proprio, meanwhile, has appointed Dr Takeo Kanade to its advisory board to further develop its surgical navigation system, which uses proprietary imaging techniques and MR environments.

Pear and Proprio strengthen immersive offerings for patients and medical professionals 2
Dr Takeo Kanade

Kanade is the UA and Helen Whitaker Professor of Computer Science and Robotics at Carnegie Mellon University, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

He joins Proprio’s growing technical advisory board, which includes Dr Desney Tan, general manager of Microsoft Healthcare, and Dr Joshua Smith, the Zeutschel Professor in Entrepreneurial Excellence at the University of Washington’s Allen School of Computer Science and Engineering and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Kanade said: “I am impressed by the innovative and meticulous work Proprio has done to fully understand the challenges facing surgeons and patients in the operating room. Vision systems are critical to surgical performance, and the Proprio team has integrated robotics and computer vision in a novel way to address the shortcomings of conventional technologies.”

“I look forward to working with them to bring their first system to market and develop future systems to improve both surgical efficiency and accuracy.”

Gabriel Jones, co-founder and chief executive officer of Proprio, said of the appointment: “It has become clear that robotic-assisted surgery is the next wave of surgical performance. Imaging and navigation need to advance to fully enable it. As we approach commercialisation of our breakthrough surgical imaging and navigation system, we are honoured to have the guidance and support of world-class scientists like Dr Kanade who has been a pioneer in computer vision and robotics.”

Image credits: Firsthand Technology (main) and Proprio